The G20 Summit is now a distant memory for many people in Bali. The Island of the Gods hosted the global political conference in November 2022 and received over USD 51 million in infrastructural developments in order to host the event successfully. Improvements included new pavements, street lights, electric vehicle charging stations, and more.
Local residents were under the belief that these seemingly permanent new structures would not only remain but be maintained as part of the event’s legacy. It appears quite the opposite may be true as a whole pavement has been removed, leaving a dangerous and unsightly rubble mess in its wake.
The now-former Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station (SPKLU) was installed on Jalan Nusa Dua Selatan ahead of the G20 Summit. The charging station and accompanying pavement were installed close to the Apurva Kempinski Hotel, which was one of the main accommodation venues for world leaders and their delegations during the G20. However, both the charging stations and the pavement have been pulled up, leaving behind exposed rubble and dirt.
The Head of the Sawangan Neighborhood, I Wayan Jabut, has told reporters that he was unaware that this would be happening. Jabut told reporters that he hasn’t even been informed as to who is behind the dismantling of the infrastructure. He explained, “Our question is, why are the paving also dismantled and stripped like that? This is too much as I see it, because it spoils the image of a road that is already quite good.”
He continued, “I am so confused why what was already good is now being dismantled. Even though the tools [charging stations] are taken, if the paving is left, at least the road borders can look neat and reflect areas that were previously crossed by high-ranking officials from various countries.” Jabut added that he, like many others, was under the impression that the G20 Summit was supposed to leave a positive legacy and that the vast investment in the area was intended to create permanent benefits for local residents.
Jabut concluded, “[now] after the event is over, it is even more chaotic. I don’t think it fits. However, it should be a kind of pilot for the arrangement of other areas. This is solely for display during events only. After it was over, everything was dismantled again.”
Speaking shortly after the G20 Summit in November, the Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, confirmed to the media how much investment the island has received in infrastructural developments. He stated, “The G20 Summit has brought direct and indirect benefits [for Bali]. One of the direct benefits was that Bali gained infrastructure and facility developments valued at more than IDR 800 billion from the state budget”.
Key projects that received investment included I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, where a new VVIP terminal was built, as well as upgrades to the cargo terminal. The Ngurah Rai Grand Forest Park also received a funding boost and was visited by world leaders as a part of the G20 Summit field trip events.
Investment in infrastructure for electric vehicles was another significant focal point in the run-up to the G20 Summit. The provision of electric charging stations, electric public transport vehicles, and a fleet of electric cars were all heavily promoted by the local government.
Governor Koster is an avid supporter of the transition to electric vehicles and has set ambitious targets for Bali in that regard. Governor Koster announced in a speech in late January that he wants to see over 140,000 electric motorcycles on Bali’s streets by 2026. He highlighted how the transition will help Bali hit is the zero-emissions target and improve public health.
Koster said, “What is important is our air is not polluted. If we breathe polluted air, it will affect our health, and we will get lung disease and shortness of breath more easily.” Which is why the move to remove the electric charging stations and pavement on Jalan Nusa Dua Selatan is both confusing and frustrating for local residents.
At the time of publishing, the provincial and regency governments have yet to issue public statements regarding the dismantling of infrastructure or Jabut’s interviews with the press.
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